Airbus and Boeing adapt to the difficulties of subcontractors

The European giant is shifting its A320neo production increase target by six months to early 2024.

From a crisis of demand to that of supply. The balance return is particularly powerful for aeronautics. After two years of sluggishness, linked to the health crisis, demand for air travel and new aircraft has recovered with such vigor that manufacturers, engine manufacturers and their subcontractors are struggling to keep up at the same pace. The observation is shared by Guillaume Faury, executive chairman of Airbus, and David Calhoun, CEO of Boeing, who published their half-year results on Wednesday. ” Despite the deteriorating macroeconomic environment and the threat of an inflation-related recession, rising commodity prices, strains on human resources and the impact of the war in Ukraine, we see no signs of slowing demand “, acts the CEO of Boeing.

In this context, Airbus achieved a better half-year performance than Boeing, still handicapped by the problems affecting the 787 Dreamliner and the threat to discontinue version 10 of the 737 Max. The European giant, which delivered 297 aircraft and signed 295 orders in the first half of 2022, recorded a net result of 1.9 billion euros (-15%) for a turnover of 24.8 billion, or 200 million more than in the first half of 2021. Its operating profit (adjusted Ebit) reached 2.6 billion.

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For its part, Boeing, which delivered 216 planes and signed 169 orders for 737 Max and 13 cargo planes, lost more money. It suffered a net loss of more than 1 billion dollars, for sales of 30.6 billion (+5%). Only its services activity made money (1.3 billion in operating profit). The defense and space activity now weighs more heavily (11.6 billion) than commercial aircraft (10.3 billion) but the two main activities are in the red.

Returned to service since the end of 2020, the Max has regained its colours. But there are still more than 300 copies to be destocked (produced during the delivery freeze between 2019 and 2020). The plane is produced at the rate of 31 Max per month. The goal is to reach 40 Max per month this fall. As for the 787, whose deliveries have been stopped since May 2021, it is produced at “ low cadence “. The program will generate 2 billion in additional costs until the end of 2023, including 283 million spent in the second quarter accounts. Boeing is waitingimminently » the green light from the American air safety agency, to resume deliveries. The group then plans to increase its production in a wayprogressive to five long-haul flights per month.

Faced with the problems encountered by their subcontractors and the uncertainties created by the deterioration of the economic and geopolitical environment, Airbus and Boeing are adapting. The European maintains its objective of producing 75 A320neos per month in 2025, but it is revising its intermediate objective. “Due to current supply chain difficulties, Airbus is adjusting the ramp-up in 2022 and 2023 and is now targeting 65 A320neos per month in 2024, around six months later than planned », announces Guillaume Faury. Airbus expects 700 deliveries this year, against 720 previously planned.“We will not push our production system too fastsays David Calhoun.Our priority is the stabilization of our supply chain and the predictability of our production. »

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